Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Great Scuba/Modeling/Spa/Cheesecake Eating Trip in Cape Schnack 2010

Tom attended a modeling conference at the coast this week (statistics and forecasting numbers type stuff, not the strike-a-pose kind, though, agreed, he does have many talents).

Our good friends, Emma and Tony built a beautiful new house in Berwick, a suburb about half way between here and the Mornington Peninsula, so we stopped over for a festive visit of cheesecake munching, card games and a peaceful rest on Saturday night. Though they put in all top-of-the-line fixtures and decked the place out perfectly only 6 months ago, they're already restless for another big project, so this gorgeous new property is now on the market...let us know if you're interested!
I like to joke that they had to build a giant, open-aesthetic mansion (and bought a manly, mammoth truck) just for their great dane puppy, Huck. He seems to have finally hit his full height and appears to just be filling out around the jowl and lip area these days. Here he is, tucked in on his own sofa, for a cool autumn sleep. Ridiculous cuteness, this one.

I tagged along for the conference to give full due diligence in exploring the many spas of Australia. The Peninsula Hot Springs was recently remodeled, and I may have finally met my match with "The Orchid" 40-42 degree Celsius (104 -108 degrees Fahrenheit). Here's a photo of it from a random stranger's blog...does he look Norwegian? Tom is always shocked how hot of a tub I can normally tolerate. Imagine how defeated I felt, merely able to but dip a toe in this nearly boiling mess! Spa fail!!! Oh, the shame of it all.
We were a bit leery of what a Royal Auto Club of Victoria resort (in Cape Schnack) might look like; it seemed odd for an insurance company, really, to run a resort, but it was gorgeous and the staff was delightful. I tried to go incognito as a true conference attendee around dinnertime and got my fill of fresh oysters, right off the boat in the bay.

Here I am in the "Prada-Gonia" (Prada style / Patagonia label) jacket that Tom got me at REI back in Portland and some cargo pants. Oh, how I miss wearing outdoorsie-wear everyday like we did in America. Women actually dress up here and I tend to look a little rough when I default to the earth toned, cotton, velcro covered wardrobe pieces I shipped over. I've gained 10 pounds since I got back from backpacking around SE Asia...good that I didn't donate those fat-pants prematurely, hmmm? No worries...I'm starting a healthy eating and exercise plan tomorrow (I am, no really, I mean it, no, really).

Some scenic photos of the property I pinched off the internet:

We had a wonderful time visiting with his colleagues from the Bureau of Meteorology in Sydney. Though everyone is Melbourne has a tough time finding affordable housing, we have to be glad we aren't looking to buy in Sydney, where it is an even tougher challenge.

The trip was rounded out by a day of deep water scuba diving, where, after getting down to 30 meters, I managed to earn by Advanced Diver stripes. NOW we can consider going to Vanuatu to dive the very deeply sunk SS Coolidge wreck, though I'm hard pressed to ever want to go anywhere but the Great Barrier Reef again after our amazing time with Tom's mom there in July last year. Emma packed us two pieces of cheesecake in our Esky (Igloo cooler) "for people who pass their scuba test OR NOT...EITHER WAY" (see, that's a good friend!). Tom assumed they were both for me (and I let him), once again confirming that I married completely out of my league.

At least this dive, I didn't start hyperventilating from swimming in the cold, heavy current, flail my arms hysterically for the captain to come fish me out and then refuse to get off the boat, then, once back on shore, fall over in the surf and lay there moaning, helplessly weighted down by my gear as a crowd gathered like last time we took the course (and Tom passed with flying colors). Tick that box. Hooray. :)

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